|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (November 2012)|
|System||Metro Rail (Los Angeles County)|
|Locale||West Los Angeles|
|Opening||Late 2019 (expected)|
|Operator(s)||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority|
|Line length||8.5 mi (13.7 km)|
The Crenshaw/LAX Line is a mass-transit project to construct a new light-rail line through southwest Los Angeles. The line will run generally north-south and will connect the Crenshaw District and Leimert Park to Inglewood and LAX. The line will be a part of the Los Angeles County Metro Rail System.
When completed, it will run from Jefferson Park in the north to Redondo Beach in the south with a projected ridership of 16,000. Also, the Metro Green Line will use a portion of the corridor near LAX for its northern extension.
The project is being planned by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The project has been given high priority by Metro in its long-range plan, and has funding set aside in Measure R.
Metro began pre-construction in July 2012, and a Notice To Proceed was issued by Metro in September 2013. Heavy construction is set to begin in Spring 2014 and initial revenue service projected to begin by 2019.
- 1 Project background
- 2 Environmental review process
- 3 Selected alternative
- 4 Project budget
- 5 Planned service
- 6 Future Extensions
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The line was conceived following the Los Angeles riots of 1992, as a way to better serve transit-dependent residents in the corridor, while at the same time providing stimulus for positive economic growth in South Los Angeles. It was championed by California State Senator Diane Watson and County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, both representing portions of the corridor.
In 1993-94, a Major Investment Study (MIS) was initiated. An architectural design and planning visioning was performed by the USC school of Architecture in 1996. A route refinement study followed in 1999-2000 to improve the shelf life and to narrow down the number of alternatives.
A new Major Investment Study (MIS) was completed in 2003. From 2007 through 2009, Metro conducted a draft environmental review of the line, taking public input and analyzing the environmental impacts and benefits of various alternatives. In December 2009, the Metro Board approved the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and chose a "Locally Preferred Alternative" (LPA).
This alternative, which includes the preferred mode and route, is now the subject of a final environmental study, resulting in a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). This final study was completed in May 2011.
Local community leaders, neighborhood councils, current L.A. County Supervisors Yvonne Burke and Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Congresswoman Diane Watson continue to express enthusiastic support for the proposed light-rail line. In a letter to Metro dated November 5, 2007, Congresswoman Watson wrote:
Having advocated strenuously for a light rail 'spur line' to carry passengers from the Wilshire Corridor down the Crenshaw Corridor and, ultimately, to LAX for 25 years now, I am delighted to offer continued encouragement, advocacy and feedback for a Metro study (to)…avoid aggravating (the) Leimert Park traffic bottleneck, Coliseum to Vernon;…Wilshire/La Brea station connection to Westside Corridor line, avoiding hydrogen sulfide;…fully consider (the) below-grade option. (Comment ID 116-125 in the cited link)
Environmental review process
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) describes several alternatives, as well as "Design Options" (optional features with additional cost). Many other alignments were considered previously, but eliminated due to lack of feasibility or benefit.
|No-Build||$0||Nothing is built. (This is required for comparison to other alternatives.)|
|TSM||$25||"Transportation Systems Management": expanded bus service.|
|BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)||$554||High capacity buses, dedicated bus lanes, 12 bus stations along route between Imperial/Aviation and Wilshire/Western.|
|LRT (Light-Rail Transit)||$1,306||Light-rail trains, double-track route, 7-8 stations along route between Imperial/Aviation and Exposition/Crenshaw.|
|Design Options (LRT only)|
|Design Option 1||$11||Adds aerial grade separation at Century/Aviation, station also aerial.|
|Design Option 2||$16||Adds aerial grade separation at Manchester/Aviation.|
|Design Option 3||$13||Adds cut-and-cover (below-grade) grade separation at ROW/Centinela.|
|Design Option 4||$29||Replaces aerial grade-separation between 60th Street and Victoria Avenue with cut-and-cover (below-grade).|
|Design Option 5||$155||Adds a below-grade station at Leimert Park (Vernon Avenue).|
|Design Option 6||$236||Adds below-grade grade separation between Exposition and 39th Street.|
* in 2008 dollars.
Metro staff studied and ranked 16 potential sites for the required maintenance facility. Through several rounds of screening, all but five were eliminated.
In March 2011, a Supplemental DEIS/R was released to the public, specifically related to the maintenance facility. This study was completed due to changes to capacity requirements of the Crenshaw Line. Three of the screened sites were carried forward into this study, and one new site was added. The four site options studied in the Supplemental DEIS/R (from north to south) are:
Site # Name City Size (acres) Operation 14 Arbor Vitae/Bellanca Westchester 17.6 standalone 15 Manchester/Aviation Inglewood 20.5 standalone 17 Marine/Redondo Beach Redondo Beach 14.2 satellite to Division 22 D22N Division 22 Expansion Hawthorne 3.5 satellite to Division 22
Following the public comment period in April 2011, staff recommended adoption of the Arbor Vitae/Bellanca site, since it had no public objections and all environmental impacts could be mitigated.
In December 2009, the Metro Board selected a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), and as of August 2010, Metro is conducting a Final Environmental Study for this alternative. This alternative includes the LRT Baseline alignment, plus Design Options 1, 2 and 4. Metro also authorized further study of the remaining design options.
In selecting this alternative, Metro staff eliminated the BRT (bus rapid transit) alternative, stating that it was too slow to provide much benefit, and that it generally lacked public support. Metro staff also concluded that the portion of the Crenshaw Corridor between Exposition and Wilshire was currently too expensive to include in this project if implemented as light-rail. Thus, study and implementation of that segment was deferred, to be considered separately in the future as a northern extension of the Crenshaw Line (see section below).
Metro estimates the light-rail line will initially have a daily ridership between 13,000 and 16,000, will cost $1.3 billion - $1.8 billion (in 2008 dollars), will take five years to complete construction, and will generate 7,800 construction jobs over this period.
The northern half of the route follows Crenshaw Boulevard from Exposition down to 67th Street. The southern half of the route utilizes the Harbor Subdivision Right-Of-Way (ROW) from Crenshaw Boulevard to the Green Line just south of Imperial/Aviation.
At its northern terminus, Metro has decided not to directly connect the Crenshaw corridor track to the Metro Expo Line track. Such a connection would have allowed the Crenshaw Line to interline with the Expo Line and terminate in Downtown Los Angeles. However, Metro argues that this is not operationally feasible (three lines would share track on Flower Street, leading to delays), and is therefore not worth the cost.
At its southern terminus, the Crenshaw Corridor route will have direct track connections to the Green Line corridor. (The Metro Green Line already has an aerial "wye" junction built into it: this will allow Metro to connect the two corridors with minimal disruption to Green Line service.)
The project will include 8 new Metro stations:
- Crenshaw/Exposition, connection to Expo Line
- Crenshaw/Martin Luther King Jr
- Leimert Park, located at Crenshaw/Vernon
- Florence/La Brea
- Century/Aviation, future connection to LAX Automated People Mover.
The route has several segments under consideration for grade-separation. The LRT Baseline (DEIR) includes a minimal set of grade separations: the design options specify additional grade separations. The locally preferred alternative (LPA) adopted by the Metro Board includes the LRT Baseline plus some additional grade separations. Other grade separations are also still under consideration. All grade separations are subject to the Metro Grade Crossing Policy.
The following table describes the route, divided into segments that may or may not be grade-separated.
|Segment Start||Segment End||Length
|Location||LRT Baseline||Locally Preferred
(north of King)
|0.5||street median||at-grade||at-grade||below-grade (DO6)||Exposition|
(north of King)
(south of Vernon)
|1.1||street median||below-grade||below-grade||King, Vernon|
(south of Vernon)
(south of Slauson)
|1.0||street median||at-grade||at-grade||below-grade (PMH)||Slauson|
(south of Slauson)
(west of Crenshaw)
|0.6||street median||aerial||below-grade (DO4)|
(west of Crenshaw)
|Florence east of Centinela||0.9||ROW||at-grade||at-grade||West|
|Florence east of Centinela||Florence/Locust
(betw. Centinela and La Brea)
(betw. Centinela and La Brea)
(west of La Brea)
crossing La Brea
(west of La Brea)
(east of 405)
(east of 405)
|Florence west of La Cienega||0.3||ROW
and La Cienega
|Florence west of La Cienega||Florence/Hindry
(north of Manchester)
(north of Manchester)
|Aviation south of Manchester||0.2||ROW
|Aviation south of Manchester||Aviation north of Century||0.7||ROW||at-grade||at-grade|
|Aviation north of Century||Aviation south of Century||0.4||ROW
|Aviation south of Century||Aviation north of Imperial||0.7||ROW||below-grade||below-grade|
|Aviation north of Imperial||Aviation/Imperial
- DO1: Design Option 1, $11 million. Approved and in LPA.
- DO2: Design Option 2, $16 million. Approved and in LPA.
- DO3: Design Option 3, $13 million. Currently being studied.
- DO4: Design Option 4, $29 million. Approved and in LPA.
- DO6: Design Option 6, $236 million. Currently being studied.
- PMH: Study of grade-separating (underground) the line through Park Mesa Heights between 48th and 60th Streets, requested by County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. See section below.
Park Mesa Tunnel and Leimert Park station
In 2010, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas requested study of a tunnel through Park Mesa Heights. Metro staff studied the option and recommended against it. Staff concluded the option offers minimal benefit but high cost. The additional cost for the tunnel would be $219 million, or $167 million with Slauson station removed.
In May 2011, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas asked the Metro Board to vote on a motion requiring construction of both the tunnel and the station in Leimert Park. The Board voted against the tunnel, but approved the station under the condition that the entire project can be completed within its original budget.
In May 2013, the Metro Board voted 10-1 to include stations at Leimert Park (Crenshaw Blvd and 43rd Place) and another at Hindry Ave. 
Measure R assumes a project cost of $1.470 billion (2008 dollars). Measure R sales tax revenues will provide up to $1.207 billion (82% of the budgeted cost). The remaining $263 million is expected to come from local funding. The Crenshaw Corridor project will not seek state or federal funding.
The LPA (including design options 1, 2 and 4) is estimated to cost $1.306 billion, which is within budget. If Metro were to include the remaining three design options, the cost would rise to $1.766 billion, exceeding the Measure R project cost by nearly $300 million.
In October 2010 the federal government awarded the corridor a $546 million loan, to be paid back by Measure R tax revenue. The loan will allow construction to begin in summer 2012. Project completion is expected in 2019.
When completed, the Crenshaw Corridor project will result in a new light-rail service, currently referred to as the Metro Crenshaw Line. This line will operate between Crenshaw/Expo in the north and Redondo Beach in the south. North of Imperial, it will run exclusively on track from the Crenshaw Corridor project; south of Imperial it will share existing track with the Metro Green Line.
In addition, the Metro Green Line will begin a new service pattern to the north, connecting Norwalk to the new Century/Aviation station. This new "northern extension" of the Green Line will allow for faster connections to both the Crenshaw Line and the future LAX Automated People Mover (APM).
Phase 2 – extension north to Wilshire Boulevard (Purple Line)
The original plans for the Crenshaw Corridor project connected Wilshire Blvd. to LAX. However, during environmental review, Metro determined that if LRT were selected as the preferred mode, the cost for the entire route would exceed the project budget. In December 2009, the Metro Board selected LRT as the preferred mode: as a result, the part of the corridor north of Expo was deferred until funds become available. This segment can be considered a "Phase 2" extension of the original line.
In May 2009, Metro released a report on the feasibility of an extension north to Wilshire/Blvd. It first screened two routes—one to Wilshire/La Brea, and another to Wilshire/Crenshaw. Through this screening, staff concluded that Wilshire/La Brea would be more cost-effective and more compatible with land uses and plans along its route. Specifically, the report cited the following advantages of the La Brea route over the Crenshaw route:
- Greater residential and job density,
- Supportive land-uses for a high capacity subway,
- Stronger regional potential to link this corridor northward towards Hollywood in the future,
- Strong community support in the Hancock Park area and
- Fewer geotechnical soil impacts compared to the Hydrogen sulfide soil along Crenshaw Blvd north of Pico Boulevard.
In October 2010, the Metro Board voted to eliminate the Wilshire/Crenshaw station from the Westside Subway Extension project, for similar reasons.
The 3.5-mile Wilshire/La Brea route heads north on Crenshaw to Venice, west on Venice to San Vicente, continuing northwest on San Vicente to La Brea, and then north on La Brea to Wilshire. It has three possible stations: Crenshaw/Adams (optional), Pico/San Vicente, and Wilshire/La Brea.
The feasibility report also allows for possible branches/extensions along La Brea, Fairfax or La Cienega, heading north of Wilshire into West Hollywood and/or Hollywood.
In November 2010, Metro staff produced an initial review of the feasibility of studying a transit corridor to connect the Crenshaw Corridor to West Hollywood and/or Hollywood.
Connection to Phase 1
The final design of "Phase 1" (the original project south of Exposition) will determine how the Phase 2 project will connect to Phase 1. The locally-preferred alternative (LPA) from the draft environmental study specifies an at-grade station at Crenshaw/Exposition, with the Leimert Park tunnel ending near 39th Street. If Phase 1 is built per the LPA, then Phase 2 would have to build a new tunnel with a connection near 39th Street. This would require the north end of the Leimert Park tunnel to be outfitted with knockout panels to allow for the future extension north.
Metro is also studying "Design Option 6", which would extend the Leimert Park tunnel north to Exposition, with an underground terminal station at Crenshaw/Exposition. If this design option were selected, Phase 2 would connect to Phase 1 directly at Crenshaw/Exposition. This design option would increase the cost of the original project by $236 million.
The final decision about where to end the Leimert Park tunnel will be made by the Metro Board after the FEIR is released in 2011.
- Metro (LACMTA). "Long Range Transportation Plan". Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- Metro (LACMTA). "Measure R". Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- Metro (LACMTA). "Recap/Draft Minutes, Regular Board Meeting, 22 September 2011". Retrieved 2011-10-01.
- Railway Age. "FTA approves LA Crenshaw Blvd. LRT". Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- Metro (LACMTA) (June 27, 2013). "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor (project website)". Retrieved 2013-09-11.
- Metro (LACMTA) (October 2009). "Crenshaw Transit Corridor DEIS/DEIR". Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Metro (LACMTA) (December 2009). "Crenshaw Transit Corridor Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA)". Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Metro (LACMTA) (February 2008). "Crenshaw-Prairie Transit Corridor Project Scoping Study".
- "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor | Maintenance Facility Planning". Metro.net. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
- Metro (LACMTA) (December 2003). "Grade Crossing Policy For Light Rail Transit". Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Ridley-Thomas, Mark (December 2009). "MTA Board Unanimously Adopts $1.7 Billion Crenshaw To LAX Transit Corridor Light Rail System Championed By Supervisor Ridley-Thomas". Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- [dead link]
- Metro (LACMTA) (March 19, 2008). "Crenshaw-Prairie Transit Corridor Project Status Report". Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Official Website
- Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Map
- Metro Board Approves $1.27 Billion Contract for Crenshaw/LAX Project